Thursday, May 24

I Made It!

That's really the only title I could think of that summed up this year of work. Beware: long post.

Let's recap:
I began this school year 9 months preggo. Swollen from the summer pregnancy and huge.  I was not exactly given a lot of support coming into the year from a select few knowing I was going to take my well-earned (and saved) 12 weeks maternity leave.  For goodness sakes I had to have a note allowing me to sit down while teaching.  It was a stressful environment to say the least.
I missed the time with my class that is the most important in a classroom - the first semester when behaviors and expectations are set.  I was with my kids for a little over a month, but I do not feel it was long enough.
So, changes as they may, happened.

This year has been the hardest teaching year of my 7 year career. We had a huge change in administration while I was out, brand new standards that basically came out throughout the year, and a brand new standardized test for the kids.  I had a group of students who just fed off each other daily.

Plus, not to mention, I had my child, spent a little over 14 weeks with her, and then returned to the real world. In my life before I became a Mom, I wanted to be a SAHM. I didn't know if I could work once I had my child. I almost didn't want to try it.  I just wanted to be with Harper.

However, the first 2 weeks back to work really let me in on something.  Even though each day was a struggle with certain kids, I finally realized that I really, really do love being a teacher. I mean, I knew I loved what I did before Harper; but I wasn't sure if I would love it the same after having her.  Do not get me wrong, I still hate leaving her each morning. I never have thought it's gotten easier, but, I've adjusted and have been able to accept my new normal.  I feel good when I'm in front of the room teaching. I feel proud of myself when I see that lightbulb go on in a child's head.  I feel even more so that I am my student's school mom and even more of what that entails.  I feel that since I've become a Mom, I'm able to see a different side to situations, ones I never even thought about.  I feel that I still have the talents of a great teacher and I want to use those talents right now in my life.  Harper, thankfully, is with a WONDERFUL home sitter. She and her husband truly love Harper and we can tell Harper loves them equally.  They have taken such good care of Harper and have helped Brian and I in our parenting as well.  I actually really like that she's around just a few other kids and I think it's helped her personality in a great way.  Of course, I feel guilty about thinking this, but, I don't necessarily think I should.  I think at this time, Harper is getting exactly what she needs.

I also feel like I could never have gone back to work without the support of the ladies I work with.  Sometimes, working with all women can have it's moments.  But, working with all women who over half have children, they totally understood and were beyond there for me when I came back to work.  I had teachers coming in to my room checking on me, asking about Harper, and offering to help me grade papers so I could head home right after the bell.  I have friends at work that I don't get to have much interaction with just stop by my room and ask me if I was ok. I mean, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated that support I felt when I returned, and honestly, the support from them I've continued to feel all year.  My team teacher was able to be with me before her maternity leave began, and I can say that without a doubt I would not have been able to do this without her!

Not every Mom is meant to be a SAHM and not every Mom is meant to be a Working Mom.  Each is hard and whatever role you have, I'm sure you think it's the harder of the two.  For me, being a working Mom is beyond difficult but I've been able to adjust. I'm not perfect at it and it's hard each day, but I'm doing it. I'm back to my wifely duties of cooking dinner *almost* every night. I've learned how to be a {hopefully}great teacher at work, a {hopefully}great Mom at home, and a {hopefully}good wife, too.  I'm still working on being a great friend, but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.  I'm learning and I'm truly doing the absolute best I can. But for now, my time with Harper and my husband are precious. My time at work is precious.  My fabulous friend and team-teach Mary made the comment that if I'm going to do something that takes me away from my baby, I better make it worth it. Well, I AM!

So, luckily, my job lets me get to be a SAHM for a few short months, and then back to work I go. I'm actually looking forward to the coming school year and getting a fresh start where I will be in the classroom all year long!

At this point, I feel settled in my heart that I am doing what I see best for my family and for Harper.  That doesn't mean it won't change, but I am just happy to feel that now.  Being a Mom is no joke. It's harder than anything, but it's the best feeling and the greatest thing to ever happen to me.  To now know I have the potential to be in someone elses child's life as much as a teacher is, that makes me feel more important than ever!

So, I'm off to enjoy summer with my baby!!!!

Wednesday, May 23

Pool Day!!

YAY! The weather is already telling us it's summertime! This past Saturday my little family tried out our pool!

takin' a snooze

Tuesday, May 22

my little monkey!

Harper is loving her newfound mobility! She loves to crawl...but more than that, she loves to CLIMB! She climbs anything and everything!  We've also been letting her drink out of our water glasses and eat puffs. She loves it!

she gets so proud of herself!

best teething ring ever! it massages her gums!

oh dear!

Sunday, May 20

Harper's Baby Dedication

Sunday our church honored the new parents and babies through their annual Baby Dedication Service.

In our church, we wait for the child/adult to tell when they want to accept Christ into their heart; so, this service is more for parents to commit to raising their child in a Christian home.

Here's a few pictures from the day!

Harper's Great-Granny

family pic on the screen

Harper's Great-Granddaddy

Harper's Aunt, Uncle, and cuzzies

everyone who came

Afterwards, I hosted a Dessert Reception at our house. It was a blast, but BOY am I worn out from getting the party ready, cleaning up, and then cooking us dinner tonight!

Harper's Favors...

sweet gifts from church and family
Thanks to our family who were able to be here!

Sunday, May 13

Momma's Day

I'm so lucky to be a MOMMA this year!!!  Well, I feel lucky to be Harper's Momma!

I had a great day getting to celebrate with my Mom and my Sister...along with our families.
Harper got me a very sweet gift and my parents got us a joint Mother's/Father's Day gift! :) So sweet.

crazy cousin love

the ABSOLUTE best gift I've ever been given.

Mommas and babies

my precious baby doll
Oh, AND Harper decided to finally quit the 'elephant crawl' and go full on crawling!! We have a crawler in the house! What a WONDERFUL gift for Brian and I to get to see her finally do it - instead of at the sitter's home first! :)

Hoping all the Mom's felt special today, the Moms-to-Be felt excited for what is to come today, and the hopeful Mom's felt some type of comfort in today.

I can TRULY say, there's nothing like a Mother's Love.


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